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Change is as good as a holiday – if it’s managed correctly

Peter Townshend
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Change management workplace environment

Change. We all go through it. Some of us embrace it and some of us hide under our desks, hoping desperately that it’ll go away. There’s no escaping change these days and, in fact, many companies are redesigning workspaces or moving offices with the distinct aim of causing change. They have begun to realise that our environments can impact employee well-being, happiness and productivity, and this is often their primary motivation for transforming workspaces.


The way we’re working is changing too. The traditional office is dying out and open-plan workspaces are becoming commonplace. Open-plan offices bring with them a range of benefits, including increased collaboration, which then fosters innovation and improves communication. But while the benefits are numerous, there‘re also downsides and if change management processes aren’t properly used during the transformation, this can have serious consequences:

 

  • The new open-plan office layout could increase noise levels and have a negative impact on focus.
  • More introverted employees might miss the privacy an office affords them and therefore be less productive. 
  • Middle or senior managers may also be angry at losing the offices they feel were a reward for their hard work and this can seriously affect their motivation and personal performance.

Change management is often vague so companies don’t implement it. By following a well-thought out and structured approach to change management, the redesign process can be even more beneficial for both individual staff members and the business as a whole.

9 Benefits of effective change management

1.    Knowledge transfer – staff understand why the change is happening,
2.    Employee engagement and change ownership,
3.    Skills development,
4.    Identification of, and dealing with, resistance early in the process,
5.    Senior leaders are empowered, more proactive and engaged,
6.    Change is supported,
7.    Increased staff satisfaction that leads to increased productivity,
8.    Downtime is minimised and risk is mitigated, and
9.    Probability of meeting project objectives is increased.

8 Downsides of poorly managed change

1.    Decline in productivity,
2.    Decrease in staff satisfaction,
3.    Passive resistance grows,
4.    Active resistance emerges and sabotages the change,
5.    Employees become disengaged,
6.    Risk increases,
7.    Changes are not fully implemented, and
8.    Changes are cancelled because of lack of support.

 


Peter Townshend is managing director of Know More, a workplace intelligence company and division of Giant Leap. Know More provides clients with an in-depth understanding of their workplace and offers a comprehensive consultancy service to ensure clients’ offices are as productive and profitable as possible



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